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The mob rules!


This could get really interesting.  From Politico:

Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.


The targets in most cases are House Democrats, who over the past few months have tackled controversial legislation including a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a landmark energy proposal and an overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

Democrats, acknowledging the increasing unruliness of the town-hall-style events, say the hot-button issues they are taking on have a lot to do with it.

“I think it’s just the fact that we are dealing with some of the most important public policy issues in a generation,” said Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who was confronted by a protester angry about his position on health care reform at a town hall event several weeks ago.

The voters got fed up with the Republicans and in the last two elections gave the Democrats the White House and super-majorities in Congress.  Now “hope and change” has turned out to be “more of same” and they aren’t happy.

Maybe Obama should buy them all a beer.

We told you so

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51 Responses

  1. What the f**k?:

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a media offensive during the August recess, pressuring 25 House Republicans to support President Obama’s health care legislation.

    The campaign consists of robo-calls, tele-town halls and radio ads against eight GOP members that portray the Republicans as obstructing health care reform and catering to big business interests.

    “This August we are going district-by-district to hold Republicans accountable for trying to obstruct health insurance reform through their scare tactics and just-say-no protection of big insurance companies,” DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen said in a statement.

    What planet are these people living on? The Republicans don’t have enough votes in Congress to obstruct an artery.

    • The GOP needs to get a clue…. all they need to say is: 60

      That’s it. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60.

      • Matter of fact, they should hire me as an advisor… this should be the easiest time for them, politically. They can say whatever they want, and when accused of obstruction, just yell “SIXTY!!!!!”

        Of course, they’re idiots, so they won’t.

      • they could play this song alot.



    • Anyone who hasn’t killed all their brain cells on hopium-changiness already can see that these reform efforts are nothing but a giant house of cards.

    • Hey, myiq, lemme outta the spam filter, s’il vous plait. Another of my brilliant comments have gone into the ether…..

    • They think we are ‘Stupid’…

    • Here’s what I think Myiq…..

      The Dems and Obama want to bring the Repugs in because the realize this Health care Bill is a mess. Their thinking is……”If we go down, so do you.”

      Obama does not want to have the Dems take blame for this crapolla alone so take the GOP down with em!
      He and the Party can then say…”We were not alone. Your GOP voted with us. It’s not just OUR fault!”

      For whatever that was worth….LOL

  2. Baucus has had some extra attention outside his offices around Montana…I wonder how a townhall meeting would progress knowing some of the feelings of his constituents.

    • I imagine soon we’ll be hearing all the people protesting at the town hall meetings are Republicans too.

      • Excuse me , but the correct phraseology is “tea baggers”, delivered with dripping derision a snide wink, and if possible, a nice big Cheneyan snarl.

        • A repeat:

          Soooo, when do we get treated to that some of that well warranted unruliness at a Barry town hall meeting? Answer: almost certainly never. All his events are so tightly controlled, with pre-selected attendees and questions and whichever pomp laden Hollywood set Axelrove approves.The amount of fakery involved boggles the mind. Hell will likely freeze over before any drop of unpleasant reality is allowed to filter through in His Holiness’s presence. Hell, Rahm’s probably putting out a contract on Jake Tapper as we speak.

  3. No, Rep. Braley. It’s not just that you are dealing with “hot-button issues.” , and the none-too subtle implication that voters are stupid and unthinking and unreflective and hysterically emotional over such veddy veddy important issues that they (now, now) don’t understand the complexities of.

    No, it’s not the issues with which you are dealing that is causing all this. It’s that you are dealing with them BADLY. It’s that you are demonstrating major suckage on the job you were elected to do – represent US. It’s that you all have demonstrated no willingness to LISTEN up there on the hill to anyone other than big donors and the politically connected. Do you understand the difference?

  4. Ben Smith:

    A new Research 2000 poll, sponsored by the site DailyKos, finds broad traction among Republican voters for the belief that President Obama was not born in the United States.

    The survey of American adults asked, “Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?” It found that 77% of Americans answer affirmatively, 11% say “no,” with the balance unsure.

    I would have more faith in the result if the Big Cheeto wasn’t involved.

  5. Who kidnapped Paul Krugman? He keeps spinning and spinning:

    Now Mr. Obama basically proposes using additional regulation and subsidies to make decent insurance available to all of us. That’s not radical; it’s as American as, well, Medicare.


    • I’m about to give up on PK. Musta served X-strength KoolAid at that WH dinner. More and more of his reader comments are reflecting disillusionment with him. How sad. He knows damn well that the heart BO doesn’t even possess isn’t in the right place.

    • It’s pathetic. He’s completely given up on his advocacy for Medicare for All.

    • This display of anger at Town Halls is the shadow of what happens when hype and hyperbole are dispensed as a solid political program. Obie has over-promised and underperformed on a scale that makes Bush 2 almost a truth teller.

      The Beer Summit was such a clear demonstration of this. It was so hyped up and there was so little to it that I felt sorry forl both of the men who were being propped up in some weird photo/presidential fluff op to try and rescue Obie’s failed leadership. Just pathetic.

      • PK: Think about this. If Obie One appoints Summers to be new Fed Chair, he will need a new top econ advisor—maybe somewhere in the follow-up musical chairs there is a seat at the big table for Paul?

  6. Healthcare is neither a democratic policy or a republican policy, people are pissed and they have good reason to be so, did you know hidden in the bowels of this piece of crap policy is a section that will make lawyers totally rich, you better get your facts straight

    • So what section is that and what does it say? (It does not surprise me since everyone else will get rich as we all go into medical bankruptcy)

  7. Soooo, when do we get treated to that some of that well warranted unruliness at a Barry town hall meeting? Answer: almost certainly never. All his events are so tightly controlled, with pre-selected attendees and questions and whichever pomp laden Hollywood set Axelrove approves.The amount of fakery involved boggles the mind. Hell will likely freeze over before any drop of unpleasant reality is allowed to filter through in His Holiness’s presence. Hell, Rahm’s probably putting out a contract on Jake Tapper as we speak.

  8. If Obama’s buying, I’ll have a Corona with a lime and a shot of tequila on the side.

    • Are you going to smoke with that, or take a patch with some chewing gum?

      • I’m doing neither. I’ll have one of those new-fangled electronic cigarettes, and be “vaping”.

        • Electronic cigarettes not a healthy alternative to real deal

          Those of you smokers hoping to quit healthily using those newfangled electronic cigarettes coming out of China as a crutch… Sorry – turns out that they’re just as bad as the real thing, just in a different way.

          Turns out they are just as bad…don’t do it…

          • I never said they were healthy, though it is entirely plausible that they are less damaging than tobacco itself. But the reason the FDA is pitching a fit is not really because of health concerns (which are arguably no worse and quite possibly better than cigarettes themselves), it’s because Big Tobacco and Big Pharma are lobbying hard and having a cow that it might horn in on their market share.

  9. What on earth would they expect – we’ve been telling them what we think and they haven’t listened (or read) so now the “peeples” are making enough noise so they will hear and signs big enough so they can read.

  10. They are *not* as bad. Not nearly.

    The FDA thinks anything that has nicotine in it is BAD! EVIL! DEADLY!!! because they want to bamboozle you into thinking it’s the nicotine that hurts you.

    It isn’t. The nicotine doesn’t hurt you. The smoke does. What makes cigarettes so hideously deadly is the fact that you smoke them, period. The inhalation of smoke that includes all the other nasty byproducts of cigarettes is what causes the problems, not the nicotine per se.

    These are the same lying liars who say that chewing tobacco is as deadly as cigarette smoking, a blatant lie that has been disproven by every long-term study that has tracked users of chewing tobacco especially those that switched from cigarettes. (This is especially true of Swedish-made snus, which because of processing is totally free of the nitrosamines American snuff/chew has, and which can hurt you.)

    Now, the electronic cigarette does have some worrying ingredients, especially the aforementioned nitrosamines. But I would still wager that it’s a far, far better alternative than smoking.

    Sadly, anti-smoking anti-nicotine Puritans here (and in the EU) stoutly refuse to consider harm reduction alternatives to smoking (just like they ignore harm reduction alternatives to drug addiction), ignoring success elsewhere, ignoring the fact that smoking relapse is higher than relapse for any other addiction, and condemning smokers to two crappy alternatives: As Dr. Brad Rodu puts it, to “Smoke or die.”

    • *the FDA tested only a small sample of cartridges

      *the report provides no evidence that trace amounts of diethylene glycol or nitrosamines pose a measurable health risks, or more health risk than other products out there.

      *smoking cessation products already approved by the FDA as safe and effective also can contain “detectable levels of known carcinogens,” a byproduct of deriving nicotine from tobacco (which of course has MUCH higher levels of those SAME carcinogens, and that’s just fine and dandy, huh?)

      *the FDA is insisting that e-cigarettes be proven 100 percent safe even though they are substitutes for legal products, conventional cigarettes, that are indisputably far more dangerous

      * Not to mention than many enterprising e-cigarette users, because they are more psychologically addicted to the “feel” and act of smoking than to the nicotine itself, fill blank cartridges themselves with drops of plain old glycerin and some mint flavoring, and puff away to satisfying clouds of “smoke”.

    • I don’t know, but personally my spousal equivalent almost died of throat cancer from chewing and another loved one has tried all the harm reduction alternatives to heroin and alcohol addiction and every one of them led him back to the hard stuff or created myriad problems of their own, such as suicidal ideas he never had when in full blown addiction mode.
      NOTHING works but clean and sober.

  11. Sorry that should have been “Quit, or die.” The idea of a reasonable middle ground that is actually doable and realistic for smokers is ridiculed.

    • LOL, DancingOpossum! Thank you for the clarification. “Smoke or die” really stumped me. I read it several times and thought, “Huh?”

  12. “It’s because Big Tobacco and Big Pharma are lobbying hard and having a cow that it might horn in on their market share”

    Yep, this too. That’s why using chew is BAD EVIL DEADLY and “just as dangerous as cigarettes!!” whereas using their “approved” nicotine replacements is just totally fine and dandy and doctor-approved and everything, despite the fact that both chew and the electronic are cheaper, work better, and are far more enjoyable to use.

  13. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/07/30/state/n184320D61.DTL

    Police were called on a group of retirees who refused to leave Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s West Los Angeles office until she talked to them about health care reform.

    • Oh, yeah, let’s not go out and actually TALK to grandma, senator. Let’s not see what her concerns are, and give her some straight answers. No, let’s have grandma hauled out of your office by the cops.

      Then, Diane, you can go back to Washington and moan about how it’s the evil Republicans who are scuttling healthcare, scaring the seniors, and turning them against the poor, victimized, massive-majority Dems.

      • And let’s remember, Grandma and Grandpa came of age in the sixties. We know from passive resistance.

  14. Thank God the Dems are too chicken sh*t to use there 60 vote majority, if they weren’t they would give W2 his crappy health care lobby compromise bill without Republican support and we’d be stuck with it.

    The only chance or medicare for all/single payer is for the Obama sham to fail, by any means necessary. Blue dogs, Black Causcus, craven cowardice, Republican scare tactics. What difference does it make. If BO gets his “little win”, game over that’s all we get.

    • I agree, Ron. This thing needs to go down in flames, regardless. But it would be very nice if it went down with true liberals loudly voicing the RIGHT objections to it – that it’s an insurance giveaway coupled with an executive power-grab, melded to an assault on Medicare, that does nothing for the average american.

      • Your analysis is dead on. Which is why I crack up when the erstwhile Bushies cry,”Socialism!” Hell socialism would be better for the working class. What pathetic opposition they are. They don’t attack W2’s actual short comings, they go after these ridiculous straw men and it leaves them looking ridiculous.

        But do liberals Kucinich and Conyers have any vocie at all? They have no friends in the media or on either side of the aisle. Where does Feingold stand on this?

  15. My son told me that the only demo he saw against Obama when he was there, was by A-As in SFx.

    (He couldn’t give me any more details)

  16. I think you are very correct; right now the best course is to defeat these idiot bills. I also agree with the article referenced yesterday that talked about how the real progressives need to stand up and push medicare for all and push hard. I remember now why the Clinton’s did what they did on health care in the 90’s. They began with the premise that they could never get a good bill out of the congress because of the lobbyist issues. They tried to craft a bill and put before congress and congress cut them both off at the knees.

    Where the Dems fool themselves is that with 52 Blue Dogs, they really do not have a solid majority in either house. And they never will have. Whether those of us of a more liberal persuasion like it or not, we do not make up the majority of the voters in this country. And it is not going to be easy to sell the majority of Americans on medicare for all when medicare and medicaid are both looking down the barrel of bankruptcy. I think this could be an advantage to work with: fix medicare and medicaid (and social security) and in the process fix them by adding everyone and curing their revenue streams. Fixing these entitlements needs to happen anyway.

  17. They are just practicing their “patriotism”, right liberals? What did liberals think would happen when they keep trotting out code pink. Do they think their opponents will not pre-empt useful tactics, no matter how boorish.

    Liberals have brought this discourse all upon themselves. More power to the tea parties. No political group is going to let the other side bring a gun to a knife-fight without getting their own guns.

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